Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Year-end Student Photos - Merry CHRISTmas!

Merry Christmas! Feliz Natal!

Christmas is a time for celebrating Jesus and remembering that friends and family are part of His greatest blessings. Thanking Him for you, your prayers, support and interest in this ministry work in Brazil. We wish you a joyful Christmas!

Vila Andrade

LAR Batista

Ceremonies for Certificates of Completion

This year I had two 'formal' ceremonies to hand out certificates to students for participating in English class this year. At Vila Andrade, this happened during a Sunday evening church service, and many parents of mine and the art class came. The students each entered as their name was called, followed by a time of singing and message by the Pastor. Then the art teacher spoke and had one of his students talk about class, and I followed with a Powerpoint presentation of this year's English students, which they all liked, and then called on six of my students to come and tell why they wanted to learn English. Some answers were, "wanting to travel to the US" or to "help when I grow up with a job" to "wanting to be a pediatrician." Two of my students recited a Bible passage and a poem in English, which was great.

At the Lar site, certificates were handed out on the last day of classes during each of the morning and afternoon sessions for English, hairdressing, baking, and art classes. I again had a Powerpoint presentation and for both here and Vila Andrade, I gave a speech in Portuguese, which was my first time doing such a thing. My Portuguese teacher helped me greatly, which I very much appreciated!

Vila Andrade
The kids dressed up quite a bit here - boys with ties and girls in beautiful dresses - what a sight!

LAR Batista
Students getting their certificates.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Parties, Presents, Ice Cream, Singing and a Ballet - oh my!

This December has been busy with lots of activities. I had Christmas parties for my students at each site; I presented the Christmas story and we made Christmas crafts and ate Christmas cookies. The kids also received gifts from their sponsors, got treated to ice cream, had a dinner for families, sang for staff at Morumbi, and presented 'The Nutcracker' ballet - the first major production in three years, and it was beautiful.

LAR Batista

Presents! The kids got to pick their gift from a pile of toys (who wouldn't like to do that?!) but we did have to convince the twins below to pick two different toys rather than the same one!

Vila Andrade
Christmas activities

Cantata -The kids sang Christmas songs for the staff at Morumbi church and handed out homemade wreaths.

Ice Cream!

The Nutcracker Ballet - presented by students from both the Lar and Vila Andrade

Special Times with friends and colleagues

I went with a group of teacher friends to a nearby beach one weekend, and it was lovely to relax, enjoy a time of fellowship and enjoy God's beautiful creation.

My good friend Anja got engaged this month, and they had a special blessing service at his church, followed by an engagement party after. In Brazilian fashion, the engagement wasn't a surprise, her boyfriend planned the date and told her 'they were getting engaged on Dec 5'! I didn't think there was any fun in that - but he did at least get down on one knee and propose during the service, which is not a Brazilian custom apparently! I also got to visit with his family one evening, and they were so warm and welcoming - what a blessing!

The WorldVenture field Christmas party was held one Saturday with barbeque and lots of goodies. This year, again, I made a lot of cookies for a lot parties, as well as to give out as gifts to my co-workers at the Lar and Vila Andrade. They always appreciate and ask for my recipes, because making Christmas cookies isn't really done here. I enjoy baking, although it is difficult to roll out sugar cookie dough when it is 90 degrees out! (I know, I'm not getting any sympathy from anyone in a blizzard zone!)

Videos of Students 'speaking or singing' in English

Here are some my students at the LAR singing the days of the week, the alphabet and my best student reading aloud from the text book.

Here are two second-year students from Vila Andrade. Douglas is reciting Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it." Mayara is reciting a poem, "God, make my life a little light within the world to glow - a tiny flame that burns bright wherever I may go." They also recited these at the graduation ceremony.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 2009

LAR Costume Party
The Lar Project had a Costume party and dance for the students, and each class had a theme, such as the Flintstones, or other cartoon characters. I came in a Brazil T-shirt and said I was a "Brazilian" but the other teachers didn't go for that - so they 'made' me wear a Minnie Mouse costume, because she was American!

Area Directors visit Vila Andrade
The WorldVenture area directors, Jim & Corinne Thorp, came for a visit to Vila Andrade, and they had a good conversation with the Project Director, Marissa (shown below), as well as getting to see the daily routine and sitting in on an English class. Of course the kids loved having their pictures taken too!

Children's Church
This month I taught about missionary John Payton. Below is an opening exercise about the 'Land of No Elbows' - the kids had to figure out how to eat without elbows. The point was to serve each other the food, and learning that God wants us to show love by helping others.

Small Group
My small group is halfway through the Truth Project and we enjoy lively discussions and being challenged each week. Our Pastor's wife celebrated her birthday this month, so we had cake for her.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving day!